FOC-relginOptical polymers are very specialized materials. Not only are they lightweight, easy to process, strong, inexpensive and transparent; some of them (like the OKP polyesters) have high refractive index. High refractive index?? Refractive index is a measure of how light propagates through a material.  The higher the refractive index the slower the light travels, which causes a correspondingly increased change in the direction of the light within the material.  What this means for lenses is that a higher refractive index material can bend the light more and allow the profile of the lens to be lower. So the lens gets thinner (see the graphic below).  Decreasing lens thickness corresponds to decreased weight (always a good thing), and continuation of the engineering goal that each generation of electronics must be smaller than the one before.
It also enables some of the fashions we have these days. How else can you carry a phone in the pocket of your “skinny jeans”?   skinny jeans   Follow Randall @OKPExpert_FOC  

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Polymers – everything you ever wanted to know in Randall’s World
Polymer is a large molecule composed of many repeated subunits. Schematically rendered by chemists and engineers like this…
From Cracker Jack’s Magnifying Glass to Smart Phone

Plastic optics weigh less than glass optics and are easier to handle during manufacturing.  High refractive index plastics enable thinner and flatter designs …

Lens Cleaning Cloth
Ångströmlink OKP Optical Plastic Series

AngstromLink OKP Optical Plastic Series. Injection moldable optical plastic. Refractive indices of 1.61, a.63 and 1.64

Randall Elgin

About Randall Elgin

Randall Elgin, Business Development, Specialty Products, Technical Sales Randall started her career at Fiber Optic Center (FOC) in February 2010 as a technical specialist in encapsulation materials for optical applications. Since then she has worked with new materials, optical and otherwise, that enable high tech applications in the photonics industry. She regularly attends the photonics exhibitions in the US and Europe. Randall joined FOC from Nusil, where she spent 5 years working on the encapsulation issues for Solid State Lighting. Prior to that she spent 3 years at Lightspan in Wareham, MA, learning about and supporting emerging optical applications. Before Lightspan, she was an electrical engineer for 17 years at Sippican Ocean Systems in Marion, MA. Randall graduated from Boston University in 1984 with a Masters in Electrical Engineering. She and her husband reside outside New Bedford where they built a super energy efficient home, enjoy rural living and take in the New Bedford and Boston classical music scenes. Follow Randall through her twitter posts: @ImprintExptFOC @OKPExpert_FOC @PolymerExprtFOC